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Nuclear states are not irrational

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Nuclear states are not irrational

Gopin 12 ( Marc Gopin, Ph.D in Eastern studies from Brandeis, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution Director, September 12th, 2012, “Could a Nuclear Iran Bring About More Stability, Not Less”,

There was a widespread belief in policy circles that during the "real" Cold War, the one between the Soviet Union and the United States, there were two rational actors, interested in their own survival. According to the Nash Equilibrium doctrine of game theory, there was a stable situation of mutually assured destruction that prevented global thermonuclear war for decades, which in turn helped the world escape complete destruction. In fact, the actors were not as rational as was hoped, and groupthink among American military and political advisers almost brought the world to complete destruction during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Nevertheless, there was much truth to deterrence theory, and it applies today as well.¶ There is a current bias that somehow 'rogue' states have crazy leaders who want their own destruction, such as North Korea. Well, North Korea got nuclear weapons, and we are all still here, and so is South Korea. On the contrary, the security that nuclear weapons gave the North Korean leaders (no matter how much we may despise their regime) may have been the only thing keeping them from triggering total war between North and South in recent years. In fact, North Korean leadership have ultimately behaved rationally, in their self-interest, and not triggered their own destruction by using nuclear weapons.

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